Meet The Team

 

Management Team

Simi Balter - Executive Director

Simi Balter is the Executive Director of the Pet Network Humane Society. Simi has over 20 years of experience in nonprofit leadership. She spent the majority of her career working for a leading service dog organization headquartered in California.  If it involves transforming the lives of animals or humans, she is all in! On the weekends you will most likely find her playing outdoors. In Simi's own words, "she has the best job in the world."

Hillary Abrams - Director of Development

Hillary became interested in nonprofit work after serving in the Peace Corps as a Schools and Community Resource Specialist. She earned her masters degree in philanthropy from NYU and although she has worked with both large and small organizations in New York City, Orange County, Mexico, and Seattle, Hillary’s favorite place is close to her family in Lake Tahoe. She is dog-mom to Lolita, a snuggly long-haired Dachshund rescue. 

Kimberly Highfill - Director of Finance & Human Resources

Kimberly Highfill is a recent transplant from the southern California area and is just awed by the beauty of Tahoe and the surrounding areas.  She attended the University of Maryland, where she studied Finance and Art History and has three very active dogs, Lilly, Harley & Bella.  She also adopted Scotty, a 7 year old orange tabby from Pet Network, who loves to be the center of attention.  

Dr. Ryann Healy - Medical Director

Dr. Healy was born and raised in the Reno/Tahoe area. She graduated from Washington State College of Veterinary Medicine where she discovered her love for working with shelter animals. In her off time she enjoys spending time hiking, camping, and fishing with her family, friends, and canine companions. 

 


Board of Directors

Jerleen Bryant - Chair

Jerleen joined the Board of Pet Network in 2019 as the Executive Director of the Dave and Cheryl Duffield Foundation. Prior to working with the Duffield Foundation Jerleen served as the CEO of Maui Humane Society. In addition to Jerleen’s husband, three grown sons, and her beloved dogs, she shares that her greatest love is animal welfare and believes that this field is truly where she is meant to be.

Alan Wechsler - Vice Chair

Alan Wechsler is the Vice Chair of the Pet Network Board and has been an active Board member since February 2018.  Alan is an attorney who founded and owns a local law firm, Mountainside Law. He and his wife have two children and an energetic border collie mix rescue.  Alan is passionate about dogs and cats, and is strongly committed to Pet Network’s mission of rescuing adoptable animals and connecting them with loving families.

Scott Menath - Treasurer

Scott Menath has been an active board member with Pet Network since 2013. Being born and raised in Incline, he has been involved with the community for many years.Scott is an animal lover, he has a passion and dedication to serve this community as well as rescue as many animals as he can. He made the decision to move back to the Tahoe area in 2012 to raise his family: 2 children, 3 dogs, a cat, 2 goats, and several fish. He brings a passion and historical knowledge of the area and has served in several roles on the Pet Network Board. Currently Scott is the Treasurer of the Pet Network Board and very happy to be in this role.

Kim McClain - Director

Kim has lived in Incline Village, Nevada, for seven years. She has been married to Chris McClain for 38 years, and they have three grown children, two grandchildren, and a Golden Retriever named Juno. Kim has been a lifelong volunteer in her community and is proud to be a part of the Pet Network Humane Society. 

Nancy Willis - Director

Nancy has volunteered, fostered, and worked in the animal welfare industry for more than seven years, including her last position as Director of Development at the Maui Humane Society. She recently moved from Maui, HI, to Incline Village when she accepted a job at the Dave & Cheryl Duffield Foundation. Her passion is helping animals, and she has a soft spot in her heart for senior and hospice animals. She was honored to be asked to join the Pet Network Humane Society Board of Directors in 2020.

 


 


Advisory Board

 

Veronica Bayduza

Ronnie Bayduza initially became involved with animal rescue in 1991 as a weekend dog walker with the SPCA in San Francisco.  Following retirement in 2014 and becoming a full time resident of Incline, she became an active supporter of Pet Network and currently serves on the Advisory Board. Ronnie and her significant other , Greg, live in Incline with Maxi, a rescued Beardie mix, who joined their home in 2015 and quickly managed to assert himself in all household decision making activities.

 

Christine Karnofsky

Christine Karnofsky has been a resident of Lake Tahoe since 1987. Christine is a landscape designer and is the owner of her business, Christine Karnofsky Landscape Design for the past 25 years. She was invited to join the Pet Network board in 2016 and continues on the advisory board. Christine chaired and worked with the Fur Ball Committee for the past 2 years in charge of the theme, decor and entertainment, including the 20th anniversary Fur Ball, The Roaring Twenties in 2019 and A Thank you to our Troops theme in 2020 focusing on training service dogs for our vets. Christine designed the landscaping for the Pet Network building. 

 

Beverly Keil

Beverly Keil is a retired business executive whose career with The Washington Post Company spanned over two decades and included positions as VP Human Resources, CEO weekly newspaper group, CEO tech magazines, and CEO Kaplan Education Centers. Upon retirement Bev became a non-fiction author with books about pets and sports. Her most popular work, Diary of a Dumpster Pup, chronicles how Pet Network saved the lives of abandoned newborn puppies.  Bev has served on the Board of Pet Network as Chair and Treasurer. She is now an active member of the Advisory Board. She shares her home with spouse Doug, also an author, and four Pet Network special needs rescue cats.

 

Ted Ventresca

Currently President and Chief Operating Officer for CHEMEON in Minden, Nevada, Ted Kelly brings expertise in global brand development, multimedia/digital sales, marketing and communication strategies, team building, promotion and presentation to the Pet Network Advisory Board. Ted and his wife, Susan moved to Nevada in 2014 and adopted Bocce from Pet Network in 2017. Ted, Susan, and Bocce enjoy Kayaking. Ted collects vintage microphones, radios, mid-century furniture/art, and supporting the life-saving work of Pet Network.

 

Arielle Verinis

Arielle Verinis is a professional vocalist who has lent her voice to animal rescue for nearly two decades. She lives in Incline Village with her husband, baby and 3 rescue dogs. She has been a supporter of the Pet Network since 2015.